Tag Archives: ‘classics’ collection

REVIEW: RetroBoy V1

Ah, that new console smell!— coming from a faux mobile device invented purely for the sake of shoving yet another XBLIG ‘classics collection’ down our throats, of course, but I digress. Yes, your fancy new RetroBoy V1 ($1.00) system is in fact a Game Boy brother by another mother, and yes, that means you’ll get your interactive fix in two or three splendid shades of puke-covered green. Assuming you dig your games in that color of not-so-awesome sauce.

RetroBoy V1 - Screen

RetroBoy V1 comes in one of six assorted flavors for you to try, including such ‘classics’ as Pong, Snake, and Flappy Bird1. Here, all of them play exactly as you remember, with no new twists or changes of any kind. That kind of renders the whole thing moot from the start, but it does serve as a convenient gathering of games in one place, should you be of the 1% of the gaming population that hasn’t played a version of these ‘classics’ at some point in your life.

While the requisite ‘brick breaker’ and Space Invaders types still have their easy-going, arcade-ish gameplay to fall back on, the rest of the titles somewhat show their age in comparison. Pong is drab-looking and boring against the simpleton AI, while Snake‘s antiquated dot-eater mechanic pales up against the slicker, present-day stuff like qrth-phyl.  Sucking the color out of everything to fit RetroBoy V1‘s forced aesthetic certainly doesn’t help the presentation.

RetroBoy V1 - Screen2

The odd man out in this collection is Adventure, a pseudo-RPG, pseudo-Zelda button-masher that sees you blazing through fights and leveling-up in order to face off against the four ‘bosses’ of each land (don’t get excited; the entire game is three screens long). The look of it is certainly ‘retro’, though the gameplay itself is frenetic and forgettable. You can mow through it in about five minutes.

It’s hard to fathom who the audience for this collection would be. It comes down to basic sense: I’ve played these games before, you’ve played these games before. Hundreds of times. For anyone that hasn’t2, you can find a free flash version of these titles nearly anywhere on the internet. As such, there’s little or no point in even downloading RetroBoy V1. Skip.

  1. Flappy Bird‘s status as a verified ‘classic’ is debatable, but I don’t write the news, kids, I just report it. 
  2. Get out from under your rock; the world can be an exciting place. 


Classic game collections are always a mixed bag (pardon the literal truth of that and let me explain). It assumes you’ve never played most of the games it has on offer, and to those of you that didn’t live in the world before cellphones, you probably haven’t. For the rest of you that have spent hours on most or all of the typical retro staples in stock, the game instead reasons that you’d like to have all of the titles available under one roof, so to speak, for the low, low rate of one dollar. Noyd ($1.00) is all of these things, with an ever-so-zany twist!

Noyd - Screen

The collection (15 games in all) is comprised of your standard fare; some gems, some duller baubles, and some outright stinkers. You can squeeze enough fun out of the Tetris, Asteroids, and Pac-Man clones, among others, but lumping in lesser games like Simon Says (excuse me, Noyd Says), Tic-Tac-Toe, and Hangman, is stretching the definition of ‘classics’. Regardless of your preferences, though, the main selling point of this collection isn’t the actual games.

You see, rather than just have you go up against a silent artificial intelligence, reliving old memories or trying on something you may have missed years ago, Noyd introduces… well, Noyd, a wise-cracking AI that loves to play competitive games and abhors cheaters… despite the fact that it is a rampant offender itself. Should you win any of the games against Noyd, it immediately rethinks the rules of the match, either by throwing harder rulesets or enemy types your way, decreasing the time you have between moves, reversing your controls, or by shifting the entire arena in order to mess you up. Constant Sabotage is Noyd’s top trick, and it is a very poor sport. Bottom line, you’re destined to lose.

Noyd - Screen2

Curiously, I say the same thing when I’m eating.

This starts off humorous enough, adding absurd new layers of challenge to a classic concept, and winning against Noyd after several rounds of a given game will unlock another event in the menu. That said, the same formula of ridiculousness begins to work against any ‘fun’ you’re having while losing. With the unending drone of robotic put-downs and drawn-out HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAs, you’ll quickly tire of the multiple retries, none of which ultimately come with any great rewards or satisfaction (you can immediately unlock all game types without even having to beat Noyd once).

The repetition and recycled art / quips eventually wear you down. Noyd assembles an acceptable Dream Team of classics, but loses almost all of the charm those games hold once its ‘shtick’ hits full-steam ahead. If I wanted to be the victim of questionable tactics and / or insulted every time I lose, I’d play any first-person shooter online.